The Wits SRC support office issued a statement calling for a new VC, but SRC officials were nowhere to be found when Wits Vuvuzela had questions for them about the call.
The Wits SRC appears to be avoiding answering questions about its support office’s declaration of a state of emergency at the university.
SRC support officer Solami Buthelezi released a statement on May 4, 2021 on her social media accounts, calling on Vice-Chancellor Zeblon Vilakazi to step down, citing his “lack of involvement” in matters of concern to students. She told Wits Vuvuzela her office was only reiterating the position of the entire SRC.
“We once sat [as the SRC] and we resolved that we are calling for the head of Zeblon. We no longer want him as our VC and we do not recognise him,” Buthelezi said, adding that Vilakazi was aware of the SRC’s unhappiness with his application in addressing student issues
Alexandra Leisegang of the VC’s office told Wits Vuvuzela, “The vice-chancellor’s office is not aware of this statement from the SRC support officer and we have no further information at this time.”
Wits Vuvuzela tried several times to get comment from the SRC president and deputy president, but with no luck. We went to their offices, but they were not there.
We spoke to Deputy President Sthembiso Dabula on May 13, 2021 at a gwijo session (singing session by the SRC). Dabula agreed to comment the next day by telephone as she would not be on campus, but when Wits Vuvuzela called her over several days she did not answer.
After multiple attempts by text and email, Wits SRC President Mpendulo Mfeka eventually agreed to an interview with Wits Vuvuzela on May 21, but said he was not available for a face-to-face interview. We then sent him questions via email later that day, after he had agreed.
Mfeka has still not responded to the emailed questions, nor to multiple calls, texts and emails seeking a response.
Wits Vuvuzela ran into Vice–Chancellor Vilakazi on campus on May 20. Saying he was in a “terrible hurry” he would only answer one question from Wits Vuvuzela. His response to Buthelezi’s statement was, “The VC only accounts to the university’s council. The SRC accounts to the vice-chancellor’s office, so it’s fine; they can say what they are saying.”
FEATURED IMAGE: Wits SRC members outside Solomon Mahlangu House. Photo: File
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